Excellent selection of subject matter on CAD challenges and incompatibilities that still persist today. This article addresses the 'white elephant' in the room that CAD vendors are typically reluctant to talk about. I'm glad that PTC is willing to openly discuss solutions for this potentially large productivity gain.
It is a fact that many companies work in a heterogeneous CAD environment and have to edit and work with 3D solid models that are not 100% compatible with each other. Yes, 3D models can be imported between CAD systems using IGES, STP, etc. formats. However, in the majority of these cases, the complete model associativity is lost and the imported design can't be completely edited or modified. Then if a design change is needed, delays typically occur because this imported model can't be truly modified.
I look forward to reading more about PTC and other CAD suppliers approach to this issue.
Yes, Siemens PLM seems to be concentrating on making the managment of design easier. A lot of their recent releases seem to be focused specifically on addressing ways to handle design technology efficiently and effectively.
There is definitely progress and PTC's release of this study and its implications that it will continue to work on solving one of its customers' biggest pain points is a sign of that. Most CAD vendors today recognize that it is a heterogeneous world out there and with today's design initiatives involving suppliers, outsource partners, etc., there is no way everyone is going to be working with the same CAD tool, let alone same version of the same CAD tool. Siemens PLM Software has done a lot of work around open standards with JT Open and most CAD vendors consistently talk about their ability to work with other CAD formats whenever they do a new release. It's not perfect yet, but it's definitely moving there. A far cry from years past, no doubt.
Is there any progress being made toward compatability in CAD, Beth? I remember when there were about 12 different word processing programs that weren't compatible. That changed with time as compatibility improved and one program became the standard (except in the law profession). Any chance of this happening with CAD?
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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